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welcome to riebeek college

At Riebeek College, school life is exciting!

Tucked away in the Eastern Cape town of Uitenhage is the much acclaimed educational gem: Riebeek College Girls’ High School. Here, steeped in tradition, the busy bees of Riebeek, for the bee is our emblem, create a hive of activity. Girls ranging in ages from the enthusiastic grade 4s to our elegant  matrics find themselves involved and committed.


Riebeek is equal to the best. A fee-paying school, with a boarding facility for weekly boarders, and a day-boarding package, Riebeek provides parents with a safe, supervised environment for their treasured daughters.


Racial and religious tolerance, compassion and charity are entrenched. The carefully designed Pocket Code of Conduct is underwritten by principles which are rooted in morality and spiritual fruitfulness. Riebeek nurtures and cares.


Riebeek is famed for its award-winning choir. Competing in the advanced category, they win golds at national choir competitions. In 2014, a group of our girls featured with Johnny Clegg on Top Billing, having won a national song and dance competition. In 2015, Riebeek featured in the top 25 schools in South Africa in the Fairlady survey.  Professor Jansen in the national press praised the school in June 2015, and followed this up later by identifying Riebeek as a top SA school in terms of combining character building and academic excellence.


Many of the staff are Old Girls, proving the faith they have in the unique education offered by our Alma Mater.

The school continues to offer future generations what is truly best about the past while adapting to changing times. The Riebeek ladies walk in integrity with an attitude of gratitude while displaying a passion for  tolerance, mental and physical energy and knowledge.

Our buzzing calendar exudes passion for play, compassion for charity, craze for cultural activities and a love of learning. Founded in 1877, this progressive school provides holistic education in a happy, safe and stimulating environment to ensure that every learner is equipped to face the challenges of a changing world. The school has convenient, caring boarding and aftercare facilities. As the first public school in South Africa to vote to open its doors to all races, the school appreciates the diversity of the Riebeek family. Matriculants are perfectly prepared to enter tertiary institutions with the skills and work ethic to succeed. 

As an all-girls school with Grade 4 to 12 occupying the same building, we have the opportunity to mould, over a school career, ladies who can contribute positively to society: “To seek the good in others and always do our best”, as our school song indicates. 

riebeek leading schools feb 2017

Riebeek Marvels at her Superheroes

Riebeek College Girls’ High School celebrates its 140th birthday this year with a power punch of achievements to marvel at.
Principal, Mrs Kieran Stear, and deputy, Mrs Cheryl Snyman, are worthy guardians of the school. They know too well Superman’s dictum that with great power comes great responsibility.
It is said that heroes are ordinary people who make them themselves extraordinary, and Riebeek Old Girls prove it. Recently, Hlomela Bucwa (Class of 2010) was sworn in as the youngest South African parliamentarian and Noni Mafani Mbete (Class of 2008) was crowned Mrs Africa World. Zikhona Bali (Class of 2007) lights up our television screens starring in productions such as IS'THUNZI. Linley Myburg Fourie (Class of 2006) is the author of the recently published The Smile Smile Book.
The Class of 2016 obtained a 100% pass, a fantastic 90% Bachelor Pass rate and 107 subject distinctions from a class of 78 girls. Natheera Sirkhotte and Martez Meyer attained 5 distinctions each. Martez Meyer, deputy head girl, said, “The best tip that I can offer for success is to believe in yourself - you are destined for greatness.”
On the sportsfields, in the classrooms and in societies; Riebeek empowers her girls to find superpowers and make an impact.


latest headlines at riebeek:

Media Workshop of 18 May

BY By Mikhayla Michaels

Old Girl Ma’aasha Ismail joined the Riebeek Media Club on 18 May educating 36 learners about career choices, the work place, a positive work ethic, the world of journalism and acquiring skills. This was to give an insight to our girls on a journalist’s lifestyle on a daily basis and to tell us about the fundamental roles of a journalist in today’s society.
Ma’aasha Ismail is a Riebeek Old Girl (Class of 2004) who is ambitious, hard-working, radiant and filled with curiosity. She studied journalism at NMMU for 4 years and worked for 10 years for the Herald as a journalist and sub editor. Ma’aasha has also been a designer, paginator (Times media) and a production supervisor. She has designed news pages, met daily deadlines, photographed events, broke epic stories by being in the right place at the right time. She identified as important these traits: the ability to evaluate what events are newsworthy, source story ideas weekly, write and report on current news, generate news awareness about important community activities, work on having exactly what it takes to take on social media. New interns can be seen as incompetent and inadequate but Ma’aasha’s work ethic and skills were noticed. She worked hard to achieve all her goals she set out for herself in the field of journalism and proudly said, “In journalism, I have laid a foundation.” Even though she made a sudden change after a decade and decided to study a PGCE, she would not change a thing about her career path. On being asked what she would do if she could go back in time and decide between teaching and journalism, she unapologetically replied, “I would not change anything.”
Her advice included: All stories need to be newsworthy.  It might be a newsworthy to you but the criteria is the grand scheme of things.  The typical day of a journalist depends on what beat you are on and involves loads of coffee. The day starts with a morning diary meeting. The newsroom organisation structure is in a hierarchy of roles. It is like a madhouse that results in a newspaper that thousands read the next day.  Some of the challenges are the public perceptions of what you write, letters to the editor that are critical, lazy writers who depend on subs, diary meeting story proposals for the day.  Be assertive.  You face interesting situations – intimidation, protests, gang violence, weird and wonderful people, eccentric characters who all feel their story must be shared.  As a photographer it is not about your equipment – when you go to a restaurant, you do not compliment the chef on his great pots and pans but on his skill level.  Taking photographs for a newspaper involves the context and the content.  Remember to take portrait and landscape photographs as this will be an advantage for those page setting the newspaper.  An intern must show initiative, be involved in every aspect, show curiosity and leave the journalists’ coffee cups alone.  To be a journalist is not a job description, it is to embody traits that cannot be described in words.  It is very important to network as it is about who you know and not what you know. 
One of her best stories was that of a homeless prostitute who needed a home for her children because she was HIV positive and wanted a better life for her children.  She was able to help this lady in spite of the notion that a journalist should not get involved. One of her worst stories was writing about a cat enthusiast who simply would not let her leave the house after the interview. 
Our girls were privileged to have an opportunity to be taught valuable life lessons. We were not just intrigued by her humbleness after all her success in journalism but we were also motivated to persevere in what we feel passionate about and to find what our calling as an individual is. Ma’aasha deeply inspired our girls by her wise words that had let our girls acknowledge what the true world of journalism is about.

 May 22, 2017
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miss riebeek 2017

BY By Sinovuyo Madlavu

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
Audrey Hepburn
Riebeek College Girls’ High School held their annual Miss Riebeek pageant on 11 May 2017. This year was particularly special in that one of the adjudicators was Mrs Noni Agcobile Mbete, who matriculated from Riebeek College Girls’ High School in 2008 and is the current Mrs Africa World 2017. 
The theme of Miss Riebeek 2017 was Vogue. The pageant kicked off with the junior section whose theme was Egyptian Vogue. The junior contestants walked the runway with grace and cheer; each showing off their unique, themed outfits. Finally, the winners were: Abrenea Booysen (Miss Ribeek Junior), Callan Elie (1st Princess) and Unako Ndigaye (2nd Princess). 
Next was the Teen section; themed Vogue Paris. The teens came out and strutted with such poise and confidence; making choosing the winners no easy task. After showcasing their class, the following girls were crowned: Aphelele Toyis (Miss Riebeek Teen), Andisiwe Toyis (1st Princess) and Khiran Butt (2nd Princess).
Finally, the senior section, themed Vogue New York, took to the runway. Unlike the other sections, seniors have a casual-wear and formal-wear section, followed by a question-answer section. After an exhibition of style, sophistication and eloquence, winners were selected. Jamie-Lee Daniels (Miss Riebeek Senior), Chene Simon (1st Princess) and Malakhiwe Hoffman (2nd Princess) were crowned. In the senior section, there is also a Miss Legs and Miss Personality. The winners were: Anovuyo Singeni (Miss Legs) and Mia Muller (Miss Personality). A special thanks to the senior escorts: Neo Pepeta, Slade Baron, Siphosethu Toyis and Aakief Salie. 
Special mention must be made of the adjudicators: Gail Brown the founder and owner of a successfully model agency called Sophisticate Models which was started in 1988. Currently they have 195 registered models and 12 models placed in Cape Town agencies. She also assists children with self esteem and self confidence development. Mr  Ebrahim Wicks works for the Department of Higher Education.  He has achieved many modelling titles during his career: FACE OF PATENE, MR SA LEATHER, TOP MODEL SA, FACE OF SOUTH AFRICA.  Noni Agcobile Mbete matriculated from Riebeek College and is a Senior Business Manager at a banking firm.  She a versatile business woman that holds the title of Mrs Africa World 2017. She has an intense passion for Women and Children and founded The Resolute Women Campaign which mentors and supplies under privileged girls with matric dance dresses in order to give these girls the fairy tale experience they deserve. Thank you for taking the time out of very busy schedules to attend the Miss Riebeek pageant.
Thank you to the Dance Committee and especially the teachers for their tireless work to make Miss Riebeek 2017 a truly successful night.
Opening Performance: London
Welcome by Masters of Ceremony: Sive Marola, Sanelisiwe Jikeka And Lelona Myira
Miss Riebeek Junior
Lucky Draw
Crowning Of Miss Riebeek Junior
Entertainment: Dance Committee
Miss Riebeek Teen
Lucky Draw
Crowning Of Miss Riebeek Teen
Miss Legs
Entertainment: Siyavuya Moyake
Miss Riebeek Senior: Casual Wear
Crowning Of Miss Legs
Miss Riebeek Senior: Formal Wear
Dance Committee: Walk The Ramp Fashion Show
Top 5 is Announced and Interviewed
 Entertainment: Kallus Crew
Crowning Of Miss Personality and Miss Riebeek

All the Riebeek staff and parents who helped with                                Miss Riebeek 2017
Our Awesome Adjudicators: Gail Brown, Ebrahim Wicks, Noni Agcobile Mbete (Mrs Africa World)
Olwethu Dlutu – profile compilation
Phelisa Kosi, Sarah Werth, Gitaney Van Staden, Keziah Brandt – sound and lighting
Neo Pepeta, Siphosethu Toyis, Aakief Salie and Slade Baron - gentlemen gracing our ramp
LONDON, KALLUS CREW, Siyavuya Moyake - entertainment
Miss Junior Riebeek 2016:  S Saul; Miss Teen Riebeek 2016: J Kayser;  Miss Legs 2016: M Langford;  Miss Personality 2016: N Koester;  Miss Riebeek 2016: C Booysen.
                                                Media Club
Mr K. Weidemann
Miss Arthur – Flower Arrangements
Riebeek School Prefects
Grade 11 Register Class Teachers
Jay’s Florists
A big thank you to all our sponsors. 
All donations are greatly appreciated.

  1. Van Jaarsveld; G. Hardman; R.Wilkinson; U. Ndiaye; A. Booysen; A. Gqubule; S. Mayake; E. Pezisa; L. Kasibe; S. Tshete; J. Wicomb; J. Daba; L. Labercensie; C.Elie; S.Butt; S. Van Jaarsveld; L. Nogampula; K Keyser; A.Toyis; L.Mboya; P. Madlavu; A. Toyis; K.Minaar; K.Butt; T.Boswell; S .Transell; C.Simon; M. Hoffman;  C. Minnies; H. Raynes ; L Muhammed; A .Douw; A. Thys;S. Ndyenga;Q. Mata;M. Muller; C.Van Rensburg; J . Daniels.C. Terablanchè; M.Clinga; M. Boyce; A. Afrika; C. Labercensie;  Z. Meinjies; A. Bush; A Finnis; A. Hobani; K.  Brant; Q. Mnyazi;  S. Goboza; O. Somnandi; P. Mrelane

Dance Committee :
Aziwe Booi; Omhle Bissett; Phumza Mandla; Sinovuyo Madlavu; Chulumanco Mayi; Shannon Butler; Drew Minter; Mateenah Langford; Olwethu Dlutu; Octavia Johannes; Aton De Vos; Lumka Matutu; Tammy Jafta; Zamakhuma Makwabe.


 May 15, 2017
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Principal's welcome - founder's day 2017

BY Mrs K. Stear

Our guest of honour, Zikhona Bali,
Those who hold the premier award of the school, the Freedom of Riebeek College,
Special guests, especially our reunion groups and two past Principals, Mrs Natalie Stear and Mrs Marilyn Woods
Ladies and Gentlemen
and Ladies of Riebeek College.
I welcome you all to this 29th Founders Day Service and the anniversary of the founding of our school 140 years ago. Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.” How wonderful it is to have the opportunity of uniting the past and the present by honouring our roots, our past history. What a privilege it is to pay tribute to all those who have made a contribution to Riebeek College because our 140 years of success is after all the sum of all the contributions of our founding father and all who have been a part of its history.
It is a time when we remember with gratitude the founder of Riebeek College, Dominee Braam Steytler of the NG Kerk in Uitenhage, who gave his name to the town of Steytlerville. He planted the seeds and gave Riebeek her roots in his drive to establish a quality school for girls. Fortunately, for all of us his efforts were successful and Riebeek continues to thrive as she grows.
Back then, 140 years ago, women were considered to be inferior to men. Can you believe that, girls? Men better than women? I don’t think so. Life was not easy for women in those days. They had to endure sexism on a daily basis.
Women were only admitted into universities for the first time in the late 1870s and we are proud  that one of our former Principals, Mrs Agnes Thomson, was the first woman in South Africa to gain a degree. In 1889 she completed her Masters Degree with distinction at Cambridge University. However, she only had her degree conferred upon her 60 years later as no woman in the 19th century was allowed to receive such a degree.
It was in 1930 that women in South Africa were allowed to vote, and sadly African women had to wait even longer. Married women teachers were only given professional status in 1980. These married women were paid less than their male counterparts and could not be part of the permanent staff until the 1980s. Thus, we ought to be grateful to our founder for recognising the need to educate women.
In addition to our founding member and the NG Kerk, we pay tribute to all the past Principals who helped to shape the history of this school. We are honoured to have 2 past Principals here today. Mrs Natalie Stear, Principal from 1988 to 2000, and also my Mother-in Law. In her tenure, the tradition of a Founder’s Day Service was started, in 1988. In addition to this, she oversaw Riebeek College being the first then Model C school to vote to open her doors to all races in 1990. The second past Principal present here today is Mrs Marilyn Dodd Woods. During her time as Principal, she coined the phrase, “Once a Riebeek Girl, ……. …. rooting us in another proud tradition. The new admin block was built and named the Marilyn Dodds Woods Wing and we all became familiar with the fruit of the spirit.
Riebeek continues to produce admirable young woman who make us proud of our roots. These young women have discovered, that like a tree, you have to find your roots and then you can bend in the wind. Hlomela Bucwa (Class of 2010) was sworn in as the youngest South African parliamentarian and Noni Agcobile Mafani Mbete (Class of 2008) was crowned Mrs Africa World. Zikhona Bali (Class of 2007) lights up our television screens starring in productions such as IS'THUNZI. Bernadette Maguire is a Carte Blanche producer. And in future years I will look forward to reading out the names of the girls seated here in the hall who I know are going to go out there and make a great impact.
We have a number of staff members at Riebeek College who now teach at their Alma Mater. They are Mrs Skeates, Miss Johnson, Miss Hattingh, Mrs Chrysostomou , Mrs Woods, Mrs Stroebel, Mrs Peltason and Mrs Gerber. The fruit has not fallen far from the tree! Mrs Boscombe and Mrs Barnard in the Admin block and Mrs Wilkinson from the Aftercare at the hostel,are also Riebeek Old Girls. That makes a total of 8 Old Girls teaching at Riebeek and 11 in total working here.
A number of the staff’s children have also been educated at Riebeek College; Mr.Reynold, Mrs Stark, Mrs Elie, Mr Jonas, Mrs Myburgh, Mrs Bean, Mrs Pelatason, Mrs Boscombe, Mrs Wilkinson and my own 2 elder daughters were schooled at Riebeek. My eldest daughter, Clare, who was deputy Head Girl in 2002 , is here today and is celebrating her 15th school reunion.
The silver bee that I am wearing, has become part of the culture and tradition of Riebeek College. It has become a tradition to read Mrs Rose Loggenbergs Hatman’s letter written in 1999 recounting the origin of the Silver Riebeek “Bee” Pin motif. She wrote:
“Miss Brehm, who was a staff member of the school, while on a visit to London, commissioned a jeweler to fashion the “Bee” into a brooch, intending that it be worn as part of the school uniform. This idea proved to be non-feasible and she contented herself that only one be made for her. One day, while on a visit to our home, she presented this to my sister, Dorothy, who treasured it as a gift from a valued family friend. Subsequently, Dorothy handed “The Bee” to Miss Bartlett, intending it should be held in trust for each succeeding Headmistress of Riebeek College to be worn when the occasion deemed it fitting. I think this was a happy gesture lending an added charm to the tradition. It only remains for me to wish you a most successful, memorable and joyous linking of hands with the past on this day, and that Riebeek College continues its successful path into the future”.
In welcoming you today to this linking of hands with the past, I am proud to be standing here  as the 15th lady principal of Riebeek College. I have no doubt that Riebeek will flourish in future years as her roots are well grounded.
So I encourage each one of you to be like a tree;
Stay grounded
Connect with your roots
Turn over a new leaf
Bend before you break
Enjoy your unique natural beauty
Keep Growing.

 May 08, 2017
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